"Disturbed" and "evil" are just two of the words used to describe Martin Davies, who was recently detained indefinitely for the fatal attack on a 66-year-old woman in Wales.Well, that’s hardly surprising.
It is, in fact, very rare for someone with a mental illness to commit serious crime, but the public fear is disproportionate.Hmmm, let’s try that again:
‘It is, in fact, very rare for a dog to maul a child to death, but the public fear is disproportionate.’
‘It is, in fact, very rare for a drunk driver to run someone down in the street, but the public fear is disproportionate.’
Now, both of those statements is as true as Mikey’s, but that doesn’t mean that we should shrug our shoulders and accept that a few dead toddlers or pedestrians is the price we pay for having cars and pet dogs.
It means that we ensure that where possible the risk to others is considered at all times.
Something that apparently (we are still awaiting the inevitable inquest in the Martin Davies case) wasn’t judged correctly in this case.
Davies was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but this kneejerk branding of those suffering mental illness simply fuels stereotypes rather than educating the public.‘Branding’..? It was his illness. It was what he suffered from.
What else should people call it?
Much of this negative stigma comes from the media and their sensationalist headlines. It is actually much more common for people with mental health problems to be victims of violence, abuse and hardship than the perpetrators.So, even more important that they be judged and held securely if they are a risk to themselves and others.
Mental illness is frightening, for those going through it as well as their friends and families.It was pretty frightening for their victims too…
My own experience of mental illness has given me some insight into this, and has made me a better person.Oh, good. How nice for you, Mikey.
The negative stigma around mental illness largely comes from a lack of knowledge generally about what it is, added to a lack of understanding around the process of sectioning. Although necessary in many instances, sectioning itself – which is in place to protect individuals and society – does not help relieve the stigma attached to mental health.But it’s sometimes necessary.
When people are admitted to hospital, the intention is always to return that person home in the shortest possible time.And that’s a good intention. And we all know where that particular paved road can sometimes end up, eh?
Care in the community can hold significant benefits for patients and recent changes to the Mental Health Act are aimed at improving fairness, identifying treatability and being able to more flexibly retain some community treatment rights and responsibilities for certain individuals.But care in the community only works where both ‘care’ and ‘community’ exist…
Being surrounded by a support network is important as an aid to recovery. My family and support network have allowed me to manage my illness and have a successful career in the NHS.When I’ve joked about them putting the lunatics in charge of the asylum, I never thought it would actually happen…
As a trust, we grabbed the opportunity to be a part of tonight's documentary, Sectioned, to raise these issues, tell stories and champion the issues of great human interest as demonstrated by the three men focused on in the programme, all of which have been initially sectioned.Well, it’s nice that you’ve got some publicity out of this, Mikey.
And I see a lot of mentions of yourself, and of Martin Davies, throughout this article, but you know what’s missing?
The name of his victim. Her name was Gwen Poole, by the way.
Let’s hear from Gwen Poole’s relatives:
In a statement to the court, Mrs Poole's son Ian said: 'To see my mother on the doorstep holding her side saying she had been stabbed will live with me forever.I can’t blame them for that.
'A son should never have to go through this and see a mother's life ebbing away in front of them.
'My mum was dying on the floor in front of me.'
He added: 'The repercussions of one man's actions have totally devastated this family. We pray someone so evil who can take our mother's life will not be allowed to walk the streets again.'
And I can’t see them as collateral damage in the war to ensure absolute freedom for people whose illness may make them very, very dangerous indeed…
As Mark Wadsworth points out (vias email), that can affect all kinds of people.
We've just had one of those local government surveys.
One of the questions asked us to rate on a scale of 1(strongly agree) to 5(strongly disagree) the following statements:
a) Mentally ill people present a danger to local residents.
b) I would have no objection to living next door to someone who is suffering from mental illness.
c) Mental illness should be treated in secure hospital units.
d) Care in the comunity facilities are the right way to treat mental illness.
I've reconstructed from memory, but you get the general idea - the double negatives and switching angles mean that the odds of getting a coherent response are minimal.
Yet someone will doubtless collate the figures and present them to committees as certified public opinion data to be used in future policy-making.
My dear Julia, this is one of your most effective fiskings ever, all the more powerful for its control and focus.
Filletting might be a better term.
Stunning isn't it?
He accuses everyone of stigmatising the mentally ill, yet he is the one who says that we should treat the killer, the person who is know to be a risk to others, as no different to other mentally ill people.
Good god man, if the killer is no different then it follows that every mentally ill person must be a danger.
The elephant in this particular room is the shocking state of Cooke's own Trust's mental health services. Incoherent would be a kind word for it. Shoddy, with substandard staff (psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, the whole crew), incompetent administration and running-down provision of facilities, both in- and out-patient. The previous government thought they were doing a fine job. Nuff said.
And yes, this comes from experience. What chance of protecting the patient and their potential victims when the service is all fur coat and no knickers?
Ta for link!
It is, in fact, very rare for public-sector employees to be strung up to lamp-posts. Sadly.
Mikey is obviously insane.
Ask any copper on the street (one of the very few who can get away from the mountains of computer-based 'paper work' on a system which doesn't work)what he/she thinks of nutters being let loose in the 'community.
The nutters should all be locked away with their own kind, where they are the happiest, where they are looked after and not out raping or killing.
"I've reconstructed from memory, but you get the general idea - the double negatives and switching angles mean that the odds of getting a coherent response are minimal."
Ah, yes I've seen surveys like that. I'm always left wondering if the confusion is deliberate...
"My dear Julia, this is one of your most effective fiskings ever, all the more powerful for its control and focus."
Thank you. Glad you liked it.
I was mostly struck, on first viewing, by the glaring absense of concern for anyone other than the aurthor's own desires and those of his identified victim group.
"Good god man, if the killer is no different then it follows that every mentally ill person must be a danger."
I think logic isn't the chap's strong point. Or self-awareness, for that matter.
"The elephant in this particular room is the shocking state of Cooke's own Trust's mental health services..."
I'm sure his aren't alone, either.
Mental health is an area where it seems the NHS should be spending money, but isn't...
"Ask any copper on the street (one of the very few who can get away from the mountains of computer-based 'paper work' on a system which doesn't work)what he/she thinks of nutters being let loose in the 'community."
Oddly enough, this reared its head on a thread at Insp Gadget's the other day. It's the emergency services that bear the brunt of the fallout from the current craze for 'care in the community'.
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